In February, I went to Mexico with my girlfriend and a couple of friends. While the trip was not photography-focused, we saw a lot of things and I got a few nice images.
First a few words about the trip and the itinerary: we flew to Cancun, but we immediately drove off to tour most of the Yucatán peninsula (it also include the state of Quintana Roo). We stayed for 10 days, moving from city to city. The first part of the trip was mostly inland, with cities like Valladolid and Merida. The second part was along the east coast, mostly between Tulum and Playa del Carmen.
The variety of what we got to see is amazing: Mayan pyramids, caves, pristine beaches, turquoise water, flamingos and sea turtles. I highly recommend visiting Yucatán, but do not stay in an all-inclusive hotel in Cancun or Playa del Carmen! Inland Yucatan is much more traditional, the food is better, and everything is cheaper!
Mayan archaeological sites are numerous and worth a trip. Some can be a little expensive (Chichen-Itza) but others are very cheap (Kabah, Ek-Balam). While Chichen-Itza (image at the top) is the most renown because of the very well preserved pyramid, we enjoyed more sites such as Uxmal (image above) and Ek-Balam.
One of the wonderful features of Yucatán is the network of caves and underground rivers that run through the peninsula. The caves are called cenotes and you can snorkel and dive in a lot of them. Some are completely underground, others have open skies. We dove in one of the cenotes (see images below) and it was magical. It was on the coast, so at the bottom salt water would mix with clear water.
Note: all underwater images in this post were shot with a GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition. Some images where shot as stills, others were extracted from 4K videos.
Celestún is a little fisherman village on the west coast of Yucatán. There is a river nearby where you can see many flamingos. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the experience will be magical.
Tulum is a nice little town south of Cancun, with a very different atmosphere. It has the most beautiful beaches! The reef along the coast is the second largest coral reef in the world.
From Tulum, you can go on a day trip to the Sian-Ka’an biosphere in Punta Allen. We saw dolphins, a sea turtle and we snorkeled on the reef.
Above all, the highlight of our trip was snorkeling in Akumal. The main beach is where sea turtle come to eat algae. Do not book a tour, just go by yourself in the water and you’ll be sure to see some turtles. We saw one 2 minutes after getting in the water and we saw many more, as well as some rays.
Yucatán is an awesome place to spend a week or two in the winter. The weather is great, the water is warm and there is so much to see. Do not stay in Cancun and go explore!